Another CHIPAC member has been busy over the Easter holidays. Mari Davies spent ten days in Largs preparing for and competing in the RYA Youth Championships. The Events is the premier sailing event in Britain for sailors between 15 and 19 years of age. Pwllheli SC hosted the event in 2012. Mari competed in the 420 class with her partner, Sarah Norbury from South Stafford Sailing Club. At 15 years of age the girls were amongst the youngest in the fleet of 38 male and female crewed boats. The event is used to select Britain’s representative for the ISAF World Championships. As only one boat in each fleet is selected the competition is intense. 

 

Largs served up a week of very tricky (and cold!) easterly winds. The girls started the week well and recorded a couple of excellent 3rd place results in the first few days. The highpoint of the week for the girls came on Thursday when they led the eventual ISAF female boat to the finish line and recorded their first race win in a major event. By the final race on Friday the girls were in 11th place overall and 6th placed girls boat.
A great result in their first Youths, considering they have only been sailing the 420 for 7 months. Until September the girls were sailing Optimists and Toppers in the GBR Juior squads. They have been on a huge learning curve wich has involved many tough days of training in Pwllheli over the winter months with the Welsh Squad and GBR Transition squad and numerous train journeys between Crewe and Stafford on Friday afternoons. Although they are yet to work out how to get the boat on the train...

A week after the event, and based on the performance at the Youths, a letter arrived inviting Sarah and Mari to join the full GBR Youth Squad. The girls will now train with the squad in Weymouth and Pwllheli over the next months in preparation for the Summer events.

The RYA Youths were part of a 3 event selection series for GBR teams for the 420 World Championships in Valencia in July and the 420 European Championships in Pwllheli in August. After the first 2 selectors the girls are in 5th place. A top 6 position overall following the final Selector at Pwllheli on April 20/21 would be enough to ensure a place in both teams. Watch this space...

The girls are very grateful for all the support they receive from the club, WYA, RYA, Firmhelm, Gill, Selden and North Sails.